If you want the vanilla, default, honest to God, upstream GNOME like the GNOME developers made it, you’ll go with Debian or Arch or Fedora. I’m not sure but i think Fedora ships with Firefox as the browser however, so that counts as a little flaw. openSUSE also has a very nice pretty-close-to-upstream GNOME. As much as I love anyone who tries to bring GNOME to the masses, Ubuntu GNOME has such a huge task that my faith cracks. Their job is much harder than that of the Kubuntu and Xubuntu guys, because they first have to actively undo much of what the default Ubuntu does to the GNOME libraries and whatever else it touches, and only then can they start to build. As a significally smaller team, at that. I salute them, but I use something that’s not surf such perilous waters.
I think it is very interesting news that Ubuntu is now abandoning Unity. Feeling sorry for the developers whose work now feels for nought. While Canonical is not the only Linux that has developed its own default UI, it is probably the most divergent from other distros. All of the largest distros—-Debian, Fedora, etc. —-have left UI design to specialized designers and programmers working for the overall GNU movement. This reliance on preexisting projects has kept the cost of developing distros low and allowed those distro makers to focus on more specific needs, such as networking, reliability, and application delivery. Shuttleworth now seems to understand and accept that Ubuntu doesn’t have to be a free MacOS, and that development of an internal, proprietary UI with its own heavy set of frameworks and libraries is not going to assist in the development of Ubuntu’s many other virtues.